Retail cannabis is still a new idea to many people. While two states have voted to legalize retail sales and public opinion of the plant has gone up in the last couple of decades, there are still many people who look at cannabis with a discerning eye.
This has left some counties within the state of Washington voting for moratoriums against retail sales of cannabis. This misguided understanding not only helps perpetuate the stereo-type often associated with cannabis, but is also putting new local business at risk of shutting down before they even have the chance to open their doors.
Prospective retail shop owner Tedd Wetherbee told Reuters he lost approximately $30,000 when the town of Gig Harbor voted last month to enact a six-month emergency moratorium on pot businesses. Wetherbee said he had signed a five-year lease on a property and had begun renovating the interior.
“I’ve got $6,000 worth of tile arriving next week,” Wetherbee said. “It’s dead now.”
These decisions aren’t just hurting the local cannabis start-up companies, but also the ancillary and supporting industries of these communities. As the cannabis industry continues to grow here in Washington, employee’s will need to be hired, services will need to rendered, and taxes imposed. All of which would be helping the local communities.
As members of the cannabis community, CCG highly suggest that you get to know your neighbor. Be a steward of your product and business by educating them and participating in local community events. The more often the people see the real faces behind this industry, the more likely the negative stigma will dissipate.
Working with your community and local City Council is the best chance to starting your business off on the right foot.